covers of the books It. Goes. So. Fast. and Practicing the Way, and the cover of the movie Rustin

February Favorites 2024

Here are nine of the books, movies, podcasts, and essays that helped me learn, think, and grow this past month…

1. Book: Practicing the Way by John Mark Comer.

I loved this exploration of what it looks like not so much to believe a set of propositions about Jesus as to follow the way of Jesus. It’s filled with insights into Jesus’ life and ministry as well as practical steps about how to live as a follower of the way.

2. Book: It. Goes. So. Fast. by Mary Louise Kelly.

For anyone with high school or college-aged kids, this is a great read about the years just before the empty nest.

3. Book: The Country of the Blind by Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland’s exploration of his own story of blindness as well as the broader social and historical context of blindness was both poignant and fascinating. I learned so much, and I appreciated the way he wrestled with the beauty and hardship of life with a disability.

4. Movie: Rustin

I’ve never even thought about the amount of organizing that needed to happen in order for the march on Washington to take place. Rustin tells that story with intimacy and depth through the experience of Bayard Rustin, the lead organizer. In addition to the details of the march, we learn about Rustin’s deep Quaker faith and his commitment to non-violent resistance and about his experience as a gay man in the 1950s and 60s. All of the stories are powerful, hard, and prompted me to ask questions about what I believe and how I am willing to put those beliefs into practice.

5. Podcast: Why is there so much poverty in America? (with Matthew Desmond)

I really appreciated this conversation about the idea of abolishing poverty in America. It brings to light both the desperation so many Americans experience as well as the possibilities of imagining a new way forward.

6. Mister Rogers, Countercultural Apologist

This is such a lovely profile of Fred Rogers with a reminder that gratitude, faith, and engaging with every other human as beloved has transformative power:

7. Scientists Find Genetic Signature of Down Syndrome in Ancient Bones

What does it mean that the bones of infants with Down syndrome from thousands of years ago were cared for and honored? We don’t know for sure, but this discovery reminded me that the way cultures have viewed Down syndrome (and disability) has varied from rejection to reverence throughout time. (more of my thoughts here)

8. How Common Is Intellectual Disability Among Adults?

Nearly 1% of all adults in America live with an intellectual disability. It’s a small percentage, but of the 258 million adults counted in the 2020 census, that amounts to 2.5 million adults with IDD in our nation.

9. Toxic Beauty Standards Can Be Passed Down

“Mothers are both victims and perpetrators of a culture that sells women the lie that we aren’t enough exactly as we are. And yet, if a mother’s insecurity can fuel her daughter’s own self-loathing, a mother’s radical self-love might just protect and even heal her daughter from a toxic culture.”

What if, as mothers, we believed our own belovedness and passed that belief along to our daughters? (more of my thoughts here)

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